CSCC Reports 2010: Mid Wales Trip - March 2010
Bridget, Stephen, Chris, Dan H. and I (Dan J.) travelled to mid-Wales in March to meet up with former CSCC member, Diane, for what has become a regular fixture on the club calendar. Most of us travelled by car to our favourite B & B, Tynllwyn Farm, on the Friday night, but Bridget got up at the crack of dawn and managed to make it to Welshpool on the train by 10am on the Saturday.
On the Saturday we paddled on the River Vyrnwy, launching at Pontysgawrhyd downstream of Meifod (obtaining express permission from the landowner). There wasn't much white water, but it was paddleable. This is an extremely scenic stretch of river apart from the strangely fascinating car graveyard. Stephen put in an early bid for this year's animal rescuer award, getting out of his boat to help two tiny lambs to safety after they had got stuck on a ledge on the river bank. We chatted to a few other friendly kayakers and finished at public land by the Aqueduct just beyond Llansantffraid-ym-Mechaim.
We had dinner at the excellent "Raven Inn" on the edge of Welshpool and a mile or so south of Tynllwyn Farm. Mr Emberton had suggested that we take the footpath from behind his Farm. This we did and it was a pleasant country walk in the moonlight, although, as it turned out, there was almost as much water flowing down the approach to Welshpool as there was on the River Banwy, so we got a bit grubby.
On the Sunday, in a triumph of hope over experience, we attempted to paddle our favourite stretch of the Banwy from Lllanfair Caereinion to Meifod. There is a very convenient get in by the railway station and you can get off OK by Meifod rugby club. However, we discovered on launching that there just wasn't enough water. The previous day we had encountered a hostile looking motorist who gestured wildly at us as we drove past with our boats on top and we wondered whether he was an angler worried about the state of the local spawning beds. Mindful of the possibility of disturbing wildlife on the river bed and of wearing away the plastic on the bottom of our boats, we decided to call off our planned trip.
It was disappointing not to be able to paddle properly again, particularly as the sun was out, but we drove to Welshpool and instead spent a relaxing couple of hours in a hotel tea shop before heading for home. I felt a lot better after my weekend away from London. The only injuries to report on the trip were a cut suffered when Dan opened a packet of supermarket sandwiches and a bruised head when Stephen smacked it on a low beam in our cottage!